Author(s): Martin Aurell
The Plantagenet dynasty secured and then lost most of Western Europewithin the space of a century. In this new translation by David Crouch Martin Aurell revives the passion and politics, revolts and reversals of the Plantagenet Empire
By 1125 young Henry II found himself the head of what was to become known as the Plantagenet Empire, a disparate conglomerate of lands stretching from Scotlandto the Pyrenees, From Ireland to Limousin, founded on both civil war and family ties. Through its three generations of existence civil war and familial passions were to be both the source of sustenance and ultimate destruction of the Empire. This retelling of the drama of the era includes: the murder of Thomas Beckett, advisor to Henry II and later bishop of Canterbury; the wars of rebellion of Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland against their father Henry II; the crusades of Richard the Lionheart culminating in his capture; and the eventual crumbling of the empire under the reign of Henry III at the hands of his father's widow and Louis VIII.
Aurell's superb knowledge of the complex sources for the period uncovers a world where sophisticated decision making and modern political manoeuvring: a world where political spin and propaganda were deliberately employed by Plantagenet Kings in ideological warfare against their rivals.